Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

What's more important...looks or tone?


Tedster

Recommended Posts

To you, given a certain modicum of baseline performance, when buying a new guitar, which is more important?

 

Now, before you all get your knickers in a knot, what I'm getting at is, do you crave subtle tonal nuances that might be missing from a hot rod guitar, or do you want the flash?

"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 52
  • Created
  • Last Reply

To me, the important thing is the tone and the neck/playability factor. It has to sound right and FEEL right. Also, it should be balanced well so that the neck doesn't sink to the floor when you let go of it.

 

Luckily, most guitars that meet these criteria look cool, too. Maybe it's partly that a guitar becomes more attractive to me looks-wise if it feels and sounds great. Come to think of it, men do too. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought that the third choice was the easy way out, 'cause of course, if I can have my pie and eat it, too, I'm all for it!

 

But, given the choice of tone vs. appearence, I'll go with tone any day. Of course, tone by my reckoning!

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't buy new gitars, I buy old ones. I have new guitars custom made, and that involves putting the best parts on a cool looking body.

 

I guess there is something to be said for the wine-filled guitar that Rob Zombie's band uses.... pretty and practical.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now, to be honest, a guitar's looks are what will initially draw my attention, to look a little closer... then those looks, upon closer inspection, and the guitar's design features, might convince me to pick it up and play it.

 

Then I begin to evaluate its feel and tone. And the longer I play the thing- quite dependant on its "feel"- the more its tones, or more accurately, its tonal possibilities, begin to be impressed upon me.

 

Then- if I like what I hear, and it can work with the way I play- fingerstyle/without a pick and with heavier strings and a medium action- I'll like that guitar!

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As long as form follows function, you should be able to get a usable tone. My archtop, for example, has a paisley soundhole in the upper bout, which looks cool but also improves the guitar bass response. It also has an EMG-HZ pickup and weird knobs concealed on the side of the pick guard. These didn't sound so good, so I replaced them.

 

Also, I have bought my last two guitars by mail order after their reviews in magazines (this one actually). When I took them out of the box, these guitars didn't sound exactly as I imagined they would, but I couldn't say anything bad about the way they sounded either. Over time I learned to appreciate the unique tonal qualities of my guitars.

 

The point is that we all probably choose a guitar for the features or image you need, but then have to listen for what makes it special. . Every guitar has at least one beautiful chord, song, tuning, lick, or maybe just a noise that is waiting for someone to find it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow! Hey, demarc, tell me more about the what, where, when, 'n'how concerning your "rolling your own" guitars. That one in the pics is quite interesting!

 

What are the tuners you use there? And, did you build from the ground up, or did you use some pre-made parts for the body and neck?

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, guys.

 

The one in the pic is sn 008, completed May 1990. It is my fav. It is a headless acoustic cutaway. body and sides of flamed European Maple,neck is domestic Rock Maple, Ebony fingerboard w/ MOP snowflake inlays, book matched Sitka Spruce top, 25.0 scale, 1.94 at zero fret, 22.18 at saddle, 24 frets, 34 OAL, 9.75 body at uupper bout, 12.75 at lower bout, 7.5 at waist, solid lining(I don't like kerfed linings), modified X bracing(to fit around tail block), bridge is ebony w/ twin compensated Galalaith saddles, right now it has D'Addario Phosphor Bronze .012's on it.

 

Not including the half dozen non numbered guitars I made as a teenager, I built have a dozen so far. Number 001 was an Oak electric w/ custom whammy and had a headstock. number 002 and up are all headless.

 

All my guitars are made from scratch. I keep changing dimensions trying to build a better guitar. Scale lengths even vary from 12.6 to 25( although I like 25) I guess you could say they are all prototypes. All made from raw lumber and metal. Sides are hand bent, free form over a heated pipe. I even make the truss rods from scratch. I spent 20+ years as a toolmaker, and I love to build things! I am most definitely old school!

 

Acoustics are all with cutways and modified X bracing.

 

Electrics are all carved from a solid piece of wood, neck and all. Of course, all wood is hand picked. Most electrics look related to a Gibson Explorer(love that look)

 

Number 011 was a headless acoustic cutaway that I experimented with Steinberger machineheads. All other headless guitars have tuning mechanisms handcrafted from scratch by yours truly. All fingerboards, and acoustic bridges are made from scratch w/ a raw ebony blank. All of my guitars I built use Zero Fret, as opposed to a nut. I like the open chord voicing better this way.

 

I am looking forward to doing another acoustic this winter break from school. I can think of no better feeling than stringing up for the first time, scraping the soundboard to thickness to tune it and dialing it all in.

 

I will try to repair or rebuild my website for easier viewing and understanding.

 

Thanks for the interest!

Check out some handcrafted guitars:

http://home.mindspring.com/~grus/guitars.htm

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me, it is both looks and sound, but ultimately, if the guitar doesn't ring well acoustically, and if the electric tone sucks, back to the rack it goes.

 

I've played through awesome Jacksons and ESP's, sucky Les Pauls and Strats. I've played some nice Ovations, and heard some really bad Gibson acoustics. In the end, it's the TONE, baby. If she doesn't wail and make me feel so good that it makes me go NUTS, it ain't comin' home with me for some Taz lovin'! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by demarc:

here are some pics of my fav:

 

http://www.mindspring.com/~grus/guitars/mapac2.jpg

 

http://www.mindspring.com/~grus/guitars/mapac1.jpg

 

I need to find the time to make a proper website

Cool! :thu:

 

You mentioned oak. I've always wondered what oak would be like as a guitar wood. What are your thoughts?

May all your thoughts be random!

- Neil

www.McFaddenArts.com

www.MikesGarageRocks.com

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it kind of depends on your needs...

 

For example, I'd play ANY kind of guitar in the studio if it sounded right for the track - even one of those horrid pointy things.

 

However, for live work, I prefer the look of classic, old-school instruments like SGs and Les Pauls. It's rare that I can't get the sounds I want from one of these.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You mentioned oak. I've always wondered what oak would be like as a guitar wood. What are your thoughts?
I built #001 over 20 years ago out of a solid oak plank. It doesn't come out of the closet much, but the sustain seems okay. It hasn't had pickups in it for a long time so I can't say much for the tone. Oak seems to crack easily, IMO. 001 has a crack in the headstock starting at a machinehead hole. Oak has a very open grain, so the neck isn't really slippery. I would think, with it's tendency to crack, that the body to neck joint could tend to be weak, but I am partial to neck through designs anyways.

 

This is all just my opinion, and is open for comment and/or discussion.

Check out some handcrafted guitars:

http://home.mindspring.com/~grus/guitars.htm

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...